Socially Speaking: Pinterest, Review Sites, and Attracting Cape Girardeau's Visitors

Guest post by Stacy Dohogne Lane, Director of Public Relations
Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau 
Hello from the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau! My name is Stacy Dohogne Lane and I am the Director of Public Relations. A huge part of my job is enhancing the visibility of Cape Girardeau and why people should visit, and I do my best to stay on top of technology that can help me entice people to our fair city.
Driving more traffic to company websites than LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube combined, Pinterest is an aesthetically-pleasing way to gather and organize bits and pieces of information from all over the Internet. For example, if you really enjoy cooking, you could start a “Recipes” board where you would “pin” appetizing recipes from all over the web. You can also follow the “boards” your friends “pin” on, and vice versa, adding a social element. Friends can “repin” one of your pins, and pins always link back to the site they were pinned from. An easy-to-install browser extension allows you to pin items as you are surfing the web. The site is experiencing a crazy amount of growth, and it’s still invitation-only and ad-free.
It might sound like this is a giant time suck like some other social media platforms, but there is a definite place for businesses on Pinterest as well, particularly if you can tell the story of your company through images. Real estate agents can post pins of their current listings, fitness companies can pin helpful workouts, and retail businesses can show off new inventory. I have recently begun working with the City of Cape Girardeau to team up and get a Pinterest profile going for Cape Girardeau itself, which has been exciting!  We have boards such as “Fun for Littles in Cape Girardeau,” “Antique Chic,” “Chow Time in Cape Girardeau,” “Colorful Murals,” and much more. Check us out at www.pinterest.com/visitcape to see Pinterest in action! (We’re just getting started, so keep checking back as pins are added to the boards.)
User review sites continue to grow in popularity, as they take word-of-mouth advertising to a digital level. Data from user review sites such as Google Places, Expedia, Yelp and TripAdvisor is incorporated into sites all across the Internet, so it certainly pays to monitor and maintain sites that pertain to your business. As a Convention and Visitors Bureau, we are looking at partnering with TripAdvisor to provide more personalized content on Cape Girardeau for visitors to the site.
Something that every business can do to check in on their online “report card” is to go to yext.com. The small business tab includes a “local search scorecard” that shows you where you are online. I also stumbled across Google Keyword Select, which shows how people are searching for you. Matching up popular keyword phrases and inserting them into your content on your site can help lead people to your site.
Yikes, so much to stay on top of! It’s all about what will work best for your business. We’re a Convention and Visitors Bureau, so the review sites such as TripAdvisor are really good places to focus our marketing efforts. Take a keen look at all of the new platforms that come out and evaluate how beneficial they are going to be to you and your company.  It’s better to hone in on 3-5 platforms that will do something for you than to spread yourself too thin and have a minimal presence on every platform available.
Follow both the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau and City of Cape Girardeau on other social media outlets:
Facebook
facebook.com/visitcape
facebook.com/cityofcape
facebook.com/capeparks
facebook.com/capefire
facebook.com/capepolice
facebook.com/capepublicworks 

Twitter
twitter.com/visitcape
twitter.com/cityofcape
YouTube
youtube.com/visitcape
youtube.com/cityofcape

Google+
Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau
LinkedIn
City of Cape Girardeau – Company Page